The word discipline often gets a bad press: it is spontaneously associated with a certain rigidity, lack of spontaneity and fantasy. However, Discipline is a very valuable tool to cultivate to build the life we want to live, intentionally and without giving in to the permanent distractions at our fingertips. behind everything morning routines we see, discipline is the secret!
Understand the difference between motivation and discipline
You often ask me how I find the motivation to do sports every day. As I sometimes share in Historiesmotivation is not there daily, far from it haha! Motivation, by definition, is precisely ephemeral and volatile : it is not because we are motivated at 8am on Monday that we will be at the same time the next day.
Discipline, which could also be called willpower, is a bit like a muscle: it is trained and assimilated through regular repetition. It is precisely discipline and recurring practice that allow things to get done when the motivation is not there. On the contrary, the less we use it, the less easy it will be for us to resist temptations.
To simplify things, motivation would be the desire to do things and the discipline to do those things despite everything, even if the desire is not there, because we know it contributes to our well-being, leads us to our goals, or more generally helps us live the life we want to live!
I create routines, rituals and habits
All studies agree on the importance of establishing routines and habits in day-to-day life, in particular to reduce decision-making fatigue and to live life actively rather than passively. you know, my routines are very important to me!
When we have managed to establish a routine (based on discipline and the repetition of the same on a regular basis) we think much less about whether or not we want to do things: we do them out of sheer habit (it’s our reptile). brain that takes it and integrates it into our subconscious). This is, personally, what I love most about the concept of rituals and routines: once anchored in us, we save ourselves the daily decision-making fatigue of asking ourselves whether or not we have the motivation to perform this or that task.
When you get into the car, you buckle your seat belt without thinking and in the same way you brush your teeth before going to bed without asking yourself whether you have the motivation to do it or not… you can completely recreate these automatisms in other areas of your life!
For me personally, routines, rituals and habits are the basis of a simplified and full life and precisely allow me to have more time and mental space that I can then use for my free time, my loved ones, my hobbies or my moments of creativity and that’s exactly what I want!
Of course, every moment of my life is not governed by a ritual or a routine (and I know how to listen to myself to offer myself the necessary flexibility when it makes sense) but I see my routines/rituals/habits are more like the overall structure of my existence, clear and defined, reassuring, like a compass that guides my choices!
So, I’m still very open about my routines and know how to refine or adapt them when it makes sense (but laziness is not a reason I consider sufficient for example) but without abandoning them completely because later it is difficult for me to return to them. This is the beginning of my plan B morning routine that I told you about This article! I never feel limited by my routines and habits, on the contrary, it gives me a lot of space and freedom. I have a very fluid, curious and open approach to all of this: I abandoned certain routines that don’t suit me anymore, I introduced new ones… I know it’s a perpetual evolution that adapts to my personal path and my needs of the moment!
As for the subject of habits you are interested in, I highly recommend reading the book The Power of Habits by Charles Duhiggwhich is a benchmark in the field.
I think about the future « me »
I love this method that I have told you many times! I don’t know exactly who I borrowed it from, but I’ve been using it for years!
When I lack motivation to do a task, I always try to project myself and think of the « Daphne of the future »! When it comes to sports, for example, I know that the “Daphne of the future” will feel great after moving her body and the “Daphne of the past” will thank her. The very beginning when I have a painful task to do or leave lying around (often an administrative task on my part), I think about how relieved « Future Daphne » will be after that task is finished!
It’s stupid (and I’m sure some of you will find it really weird haha) but it’s a trick that works really well for me! As I said Brooke Castillo « Be uncomfortable now to be comfortable later »!
Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule
You know Mel Robbins ? One of his concepts that speaks to me and helps me a lot in my day to day is the 5 second rule ! The idea? Act physically in 5 seconds when we have the instinct to do something, before our brain kills the idea by sowing doubts, which lead to demotivation and procrastination.
To go further you can look this video in which this 5 second rule is explained in detail.
Mel Robbins also wrote a book about it (translated into French): The 5 second rule: learn to act in 5 seconds!
I minimize all obstacles to my actions
I make it as easy as possible to avoid giving my brain a chance to say « oh no, I’m lazy ». To take the example of sports that I have cited throughout this article: every evening I spread my mat on the floor and prepare my sports clothes. In the morning, when I get up I put directly in sports clothes, and even if I meditate or drink tea before, I’m already dressed and that’s it for me all the difference to start my Pilates session afterwards!
I try to systematically identify all obstacles (even the smallest ones that sometimes seem insignificant) to my actions and solve them, upstream if possible or when they arise. It’s often very simple (the hardest part is finally taking the time to study your process and identify the aforementioned obstacles), but it makes all the difference!
I use the time blocking method
I recently told you in detail about this time management method I’ve been using since the beginning of the year and that has completely revolutionized my relationship with time and my productivity, giving me the impression of saving hours every week (really). The time blocking method is based on strategic organization of time and also relies heavily on discipline. If you are interested in the topic, feel free to read it my article in which I discuss the subject in detail.
More discipline for more freedom!
It may seem counterintuitive, though this way of living my day to day allows me to feel much more fulfilled, relaxed and free as well as freeing up more time for my hobbies and general well-being. It’s crazy ! For example: planning and organizing my work time and sticking to it through self-discipline has allowed me to free up more free time for spontaneity, creativity, my friends, my hobbies, my life partner , etc. And it’s so aligned with what I want for my own life!
I feel in control of my time and no longer feel permanently overwhelmed, which used to give me a lot of guilt when I took time off (I think this will resonate with people who are also freelancers). Before, it wasn’t uncommon for me to think to myself that « I’d rather be doing X or Y on my to-do list » during my free time, totally ruining my moment. From now on, The self-discipline I practice makes things much clearer for me: when I work, I work and when I’m off, I’m off, with schedules and limits that I consciously define and that allow me to enjoy more, in a more free and spontaneous way 🙂
I hope you enjoyed sharing this experience and my recommendations. As always, feel free to share yours if you have any!
If wellness and personal development are topics you’re interested in, you’ll love it this section of my blog !